Aleksei Bitskoff is an Estonia-born British contemporary illustrator, character designer and children books illustrator.
He illustrated “The Adventures of Long Arm” and its sequel “Long Arm vs the Evil Supply teacher” by children’s TV presenters Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, worked with Aardman Animation and illustrated books for publishers such as Oxford University Press, Templar Publishing, Andersen Press and Scholastic Publishing among others.
Aleksei Bitskoff was born in Soviet Estonia. He early showed an interest in drawing, a passion his parents supported. With their encouragement he got administered to the school of Arts at the age of 10. “I had to draw a cube and a cylinder with a pencil to get an entry”, he recalled, “I did well, but that wasn't enough for me. I wanted to draw a copy of Michelangelo’s David’s head, which stood in the corner, and I was thrilled with the thought that one day I could do that.”
However, he will choose to pursue art professionally many years later.
Aleksei studied to become a teacher and was drawing cartoons for a local newspaper at the same time. He also briefly worked with Estonian satire and humour magazine Pikker.
In 2001 Aleksei received BA degree in Russian Philology in Tartu University and the same year he came to the United Kingdom.
In London Aleksei for more that 10 years practised Tibetan Buddhism and he had a tendency to use Buddhist-derived symbols and patterns in his early illustrations. Since that time he began meditating and had travelled through Siberia, visited holy Buddhist and Hinduism places of India, Nepal and Japan.
“Meditation and yoga taught me to be aware of my inner world, to see life difficulties as opportunities, develop and improve day by day.” - says Aleksei. “- so I decided to do what I really loved. To illustrate ideas.’
In 2007, Aleksei studied illustration in London College of Communication and then earned a Master of Arts degree in illustration from Camberwell college of University of Arts in 2010.
Later that year his illustration for “Cycle in London” competition was exhibited in British Transport Museum, and his illustrated story Me and You gained 3rd place in the Macmillan Prize. Aleksei has also been highly commended in the Cheltenham Illustration Award.
“ Imagination connects us to the field of possibilities. Effort and attitude determine the rest.”
- Aleksei Bitskoff
In 2011, Aleksei created a series of detailed black and white illustrations for Julia Jarman’s book “Pillywiggins and the Tree Witch”.
Since then Aleksei's artwork is represented by Arena Illustration, a well-respected agency with a list of award-winning and best-selling illustrators.
in 2012 together with Jonny Duddle, he illustrates “Monstrous book of Monsters”, where he combines strong line artwork with digital colouring. The book becomes a finalist for the Children’s Choice Book Award.
Aleksei Bitskoff’s work has a unique sense of humour and he uses a line to shape forms, spaces and characters.
Aleksei lives in London with his wife and their young son.